Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Is My Trash Really Your Treasure?!?

With two days notice my neighbourhood was advised it was Inorganic Collection time!

Photo credit:  http://www.wanganuireferendum.govt.nz
For those unfamiliar with this term it’s where our local Council collect our items that are too big for the weekly rubbish pick-up… you know, things like TVs and Dryers that just wont fit into a rubbish bag!  Each household puts all their inorganic rubbish on the kerbside in the weekend for the council to pick up during the following week.  I’ll upload pics soon but if you can imagine, by the end the weekend outside everyone’s house is a varying sized pile of trash.

Aptly timed with Spring, my family and I had a spring clean.  Miss 13 convinced me to throw out the coffee table that has followed us around thru the years and was literally on its last legs… $40 from Kmart many moons ago.  So out it went. My lounge looks bigger and the girls can sprawl out on their bean bags.  Out with toys, old dolls which once you couldn’t tear away from Miss 10 (eeek she’s growing up). Magazines, Prams, outdoor furniture, rusty bbq, suitcases, newspapers, a bike and the piece de r√©sistance a Dryer.  Even as I sit here writing this I can still picture stuff at home that can go.

Here’s a pic of my BBQ, you can see why it needed to go. We have a grand opening down the road by the local gardening centre and they have a competition where you email them a picture of your old crusty BBQ and you go into the draw for a new one… I’m hoping I get lucky.  If I did I’d give the Rolls Royce BBQ they are giving away to my girls Granddad and I will have his… can you see the visualisation?  We have people at work big on it so I even asked the girls to visualise us arriving for the draw and our name getting called out…. Anyway off topic…

I HATE about inorganic time.  With it comes the scavengers.  For the entire weekend the neighbourhood is inundated with trucks and vans and trailers being driven by people from out of town and they stop by each pile of trash and methodically go thru it with a fine tooth comb and load up their trucks, vans and trailers and then move onto the next pile.  This is fine if it’s one or two but it’s not, it’s like a whole other neighbourhood comes in and raids your trash.  You can’t drive up or down the street because it’s all blocked by these visitors.

Why do I dislike them so much?  First and most important reason is if they see you dumping your rubbish they send their little kids down your driveway asking if you have more trash.  The youngest child I’d estimate last year was maybe 5 or 6.  This year I had kids who looked like 10 or 12.  This makes me madder than the people who come knocking on your door wanting to discuss the merits of *said religious leader*.  Or they just send their kids door-knocking for the hell of it.

The second reason is that they don’t leave your trash in the tidy piles they find them.  They start at one end of the pile and ferret thru it much like a cartoon puppy digging the dirt and the dirt goes flying out behind them Your trash pile becomes a rubbish dump.

The third reason is that you also get the clowns who think it’s clever to break the screen of TVs etc.  A lot of TVs are being thrown out at the moment because we’re going digital soon and our analogue TVs won’t work without a digital receiver and it’s cheaper to just buy a new tv.  It’s not funny to go along each pile and smash tv screens. Kids walk the streets all the time and here in NZ it’s more barefoot than not.

The fourth reason is because I think it’s gross that a stranger is ferreting thru my trash.  If I throw something out it’s broken, rusty or mouldy. It’s not worth anything to the average person but I guess anything metal they strip back and sell and maybe that’s how that family will eat for the week. Last year I had a truck drive past me with their back piled so so high there’s no way it could be legal or safe in form but the policeman he drove past in the round-a-bout ignored him?!? 

I cant think of many good points except sometimes there’s kind groups who will be more than happy to take your heavy items up your driveway for you.  I started to drag my old dryer up the driveway and the wife of the current ferreting couple came bustling and waving at me down my driveway and said her husband would come pick it up. Sure enough he did.  Two days later almost everything metal is gone.  My coffee table remains so I guess Miss 13 knew what she was talking about.  Old towels and clothes are still there.  Oddly enough the Videos (yes as in VHS Videos) are gone but the books remain. 

The other surprise is that I’m ranting and raving about the scavengers and the mess they leave and Miss 10 pipes up that she LOVES Inorganic Collection because she can go hunting for new toys and baby gear.  OH.MY.GOSH! What? Turns out my selective memory has totally forgotten last inorganic she collected from a neighbour a PERFECT condition baby capsule and a Childs pooh bear armchair.  The armchair went out this inorganic because I refused to let it come inside and now it’s growing grass.  Miss 10 went back to the house that threw out the baby capsule and there was a rocker.  Where is the rocker now?  Pulled apart at home waiting to be washed.  It’s amazing what she can do when she wants to?!?  Needless to say the skateboard with missing wheels she found has gone back along with the Skip-It and the broken Nerf Gun.  I went out to find the kids last night and there they were all perched on someone’s fancy couch chatting?!?   Oh one other good thing… the kids did their paper run really quickly so they could walk past other peoples trash.

So is my trash really your treasure?  My BBQ has gone.  My dryer has gone.  All the suitcases gone. Videos gone. Bike gone. Prams gone.  Only thing left is towels and my trusty coffee table.  And is your trash my treasure? I don’t see anything worthwhile in a skateboard with missing wheels especially when Miss 10 has a perfectly good skateboard.  Did I mentioned it was raining too?

Maybe my trash is your treasure!


  1. Oh, Tash, I have a story or two about that. But the funniest one is that when I was in Dublin this year after fourteen years, I found that everyone had three bins, one for paper, one for recyclable stuff and one for useless stuff. It seems that a lot of people order stuff online there and when the delivery man arrives with the order and finds that no one is in, he leaves it in the 'paper bin'. So one woman was out and didn't get the delivery man's not to check the 'paper bin' and next thing she's phoning the internet site to ask why her stuff's not arrived yet. With a sinking heart he realises that the binmen were around that morning......

    In India, we have 'kabariwalas' who will take your old newspapers and household stuff and even pay you a nominal amount. Then recycle them. Many of the paper bags you get in shops are very obviously recycled newspapers and schoolbooks. Cheers, Tash, I had no idea you were a blogger. I shall now follow you and visit regularly - in one guise or another!


  2. Thank you for your kind words Maria. I love the info too, I never thought or wondered how the rest of the world gets rid of their trash. I will try and be more regular with blogging this year. I got all creative last year and made another one for all the crafty things I try to make and leave this one to my general out loud thinking... lol